All Physics Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

General Relativity and Gravitation

Volume

38

Issue

4

Publisher

Springer Verlag

Publication Date

2006

First Page

653

Last Page

662

DOI

10.1007/s10714-006-0255-8

Abstract

In four spacetime dimensions gravitational plane waves (a special case of the plane-fronted waves with parallel rays) admit a 5 parameter isometry group. We generalize this group to n-dimensions and explore some special features of spacetimes admitting this isometry group. In particular, it is shown that every generally covariant rank-2 symmetric tensor field constructed from a metric with plane wave symmetry will vanish except multiples of the metric and Ricci tensors. We show that, in four spacetime dimensions, a particular enlargement of the plane wave symmetry group is enough to force the group-invariant metrics to satisfy all generally covariant vacuum equations. We comment on the construction of a “mini-superspace” description of spacetimes admitting plane wave symmetry.

Comments

Originally published by Springer Verlag. Publisher's PDF can be accessed through General Relativity and Gravitation. Article also available through arXiv.org.

http://www.springerlink.com/content/w18l65377w52221l/?p=e7b9f640bea14c999ffbef15cc16d213π=11

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